English 1006A Tuesday/Thursday 11:30-12:50
Sept. 2005 to Apr. 2006

Introduction to Literature

Dr. Kathleen McConnell
Office: 216 Holy Cross

Hours: TBA
Ph: 460-0394 or by appointment

Humans are social animals; we are happiest, (and, sometimes, most frustrated) when we feel like we belong. The texts on this course explore some of the many, varied human communities - from the simple pairings of friends or lovers, or the family in many of its possible permutations, to the hive-lives of a prison hierarchy or a city's organized anarchy. Furthermore, any individual's identity can change drastically depending on social context. The books in this course approach the concept of identity in society in different forms, from an non-fiction memoirs through poetry and drama, to wildly imaginative descriptions of possible future histories. The writing required of students will be equally varied, with assignments ranging from short expository memoirs to creative writing choices, though we will concentrate on developing the skill required to write a good analytical essay. These particular assignments and texts were chosen to develop your abilities to communicate effectively within the communities to which you belong.

Caron, Roger. Go-Boy: Memories of a Life Behind Bars
Eliot, George. The Lifted Veil
Hacker, Diana. A Canadian Writers Reference
Haddon, Mark. The curious incident of the dog in the night-time
Robinson, Spider. Callahan's Crosstime Saloon.
Shakespeare, William. A Winter's Tale.
Trainor, Yvonne. Tom Three Persons
Zindel, Paul. The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds.
Photocopied course materials.

Brannah, Kenneth dir. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Ridley Scott Blade Runner
A good desk dictionary is highly recommended (i.e. Websters or Oxford)

September will include an intensive writing review, with four small assignments worth 2% each. These assignments will be explained clearly in class, and in a handout.

You will write five papers in total. The first, of about 500 words (two typed, double-spaced pages), will be derived from work done in the writing excercises, and will be worth 7%. Two more essays of about 750 words each (three double-spaced, typed pages) will be worth 10% each. There will be one in-class essay, also worth 10%. The final essay will be slightly longer - 1000 to 1250 words, or 4-5 pages - and will be worth 15%.

We will cover essay writing techniques and formalities extensively in class, and I am available during my office hours or by appointment, to help with any aspect of your writing.

The 10% Participation Mark will ensure that students are present in class, and that they have read and understood the readings assigned for that day. It will be based on (1) contributions to class discussion, and (2) unscheduled quizzes about the readings for that day. There are no make-up quizzes.

The two exams - one each in December and April - will be worth 15% each. They are tentatively scheduled for Saturday December 11 at 9:00 am, and April 16 at 9:00am. We will discuss the form of the exam in class.


Writing Exercises (4 at 2% each) 8%
1st essay, 500 words 7%
2nd essay, in class 10%
3rd essay, 750 words 10%
Christmas Exam 15%
4th essay, 750 wds 10%
5th (research) essay, 1000-1250 words 15%
Final Exam, on material from the whole year 15%
Participation 10%
Total 100%


Essays and individual assignments are due at the beginning of the class period indicated on the work outline. Extensions must be requested at least one day before the assignment is due; the extensions form must be filled out.

Students who submit late written assignments for reasons beyond their control will not be penalized if they inform the instructor of their situation at least one day before the assignment is due. When appropriate, documentation of the need for an extended due date will be required. All other late assignments will have 10% of the assigned grade deducted for the first late day, and another 10% for the second to seventh days. This method of calculation includes weekends. After one week, the assignment will not be accepted.

For those who miss the exams or in-class essay for a legitimate, documented reason, a make-up exam/essay will be arranged.


On pages10-11 of the University Calendar there is a general Statement of Mutual Academic Expectations. Specifically for this class you will be expected to show respect for your fellow students, as well as your own education, by

- having read the material scheduled for the day;
- being responsible for getting handouts that you may have missed;
- showing up on time with the correct book;
- not preparing to leave before time; and
- by keeping in mind that this is a classroom, not a cafeteria or a lounge.

Check out pp 241-243 of the university calendar for an explanation of letter grades and GPAs.

See pp 244-46 for the rules governing academic misconduct. Plagiarism is the representation of someone else's ideas, data, or opinions as your own. It is a serious form of intellectual dishonesty. University regulations on plagiarism and cheating will be strictly enforced. We will discuss how to avoid plagiarism in class. Please come see me if you have any questions about what constitutes plagiarism.

Letter / number grade equivalents for this course are as follows:

A+ = 95-100% B+=80-84% C+=65-69%  
A = 90-94% B=75-79% C=60-64% D=50-54%
A-=85-89% B-=70-74% C-=55-59% F= below 50%

Kathleen McConnell / English / Faculty / STU Homepage